Audi A3 e-tron On Sale At U.S. Dealerships Starting Today

11 months ago by Eric Loveday 42

Audi Has Been Giving Out Test Drives With The A3 e-tron In The US - But Not Actually Delivering Them (Image: InsideEVs/ Michael Beinenson)

Audi Has Been Giving Out Test Drives With The A3 e-tron In The US – But Not Actually Delivering Them (InsideEVs/ M. Beinenson)

Audi A3 e-tron Interior

Audi A3 e-tron Interior

Audi of America has confirmed via Twitter that today is the day when U.S. dealerships will receive/ be able to sell A3 e-tron plug-in hybrids – although we spotted the first one in Colorado over the weekend.

This marks the start of U.S. sales for Audi’s first plug-in hybrid.

The oft-delayed A3 e-tron was supposed to go on sale in the U.S. in late October of last year, but apparently some CARB certification issues pushed back the launch by a few months; of which, the e-tron just passed those US regulatory hurdles in the last couple days of December 2015.

The Audi A3 e-tron starts at $37,900. It’s 8.8 kWh battery provides up to 17 miles of all electric range. The PHEV receives a federal tax credit of $4,158 in the U.S.

Audi Says L2 Charging Of The A2 e-tron's 8.8 kWh Battery Takes 2 Hours 15 Mins

Audi Says L2 Charging Of The A2 e-tron’s 8.8 kWh Battery Takes 2 Hours 15 Mins

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Cutaway

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Cutaway

And while some might think the A3 e-tron is a fringe offering, given its 17 miles EPA-rated range, they would be wrong.

The A3 e-tron is a significant step forward in the overall electrification movement in the United States, as it not only gets a plug-in vehicle inside another national automotive brand/dealership chain (and all the eyeballs that come with that), but also that decent sales are practically guaranteed, as the MSRP after rebates is within $3,000 of the base model ($~$33,700 vs $30,900 base).  Inside a lease, the plug-in option will be cost neutral.

The A3 Sportback e-tron is a far more desirable package than the standard entry level, and as it has a price competitive with the bottom of the entire Audi lineup, we would not be surprised to see a good portion of existing A3 sales be converted to the plug, as well as new customers arriving to the brand.

Last year 35,984 Audi A3’s were sold (~3,000/month), which was a 62% gain over the 22,250 sold in 2014.

Provided Audi inventories and promotes this vehicle as it has the standard A3, selling 500-1,000 every month does not seem unreasonable to us.  We certainly know that, thanks to the delayed start of sales, Audi already has enough of them penned up in stock today to give it a decent starting push.

Audi A3 e-tron EPA Ratings

Audi A3 e-tron EPA Ratings

Detailed specs on the A3 e-tron can be found here. You can check out or first drive review of the plug-in A3 here.

Tags: , ,

42 responses to "Audi A3 e-tron On Sale At U.S. Dealerships Starting Today"

  1. Sting777 says:

    A nice sporty little car.

  2. Alan says:

    Or for the same money, you could wait a while longer and get 200 miles of electric range !

    1. suresh says:

      or get chevy volt for lower price with twice the electric range.

      1. Brian says:

        But then you have a Chevy in your garage instead of an Audi. What will the neighbors think?!? 😉

        1. Speculawyer says:

          That you chose wisely if you got the Volt.

        2. suresh says:

          i was very close to buying an Audi. i am so glad i didn’t. i would have heard cheater every time i pushed the pedal. only way to forgive VW is if they go fully electric.

    2. kdawg says:

      It’s a PHEV, but for less money you could get a Gen2 Volt with over 3 times the AER and still have a range extender.

      1. vdiv says:

        Or for a third of the money get a gently used gen.1 Volt and drive happy into the sunset with more than double the EV range 🙂

      2. Dan says:

        …or for even less, you could get a bicycle. What’s your point? I tried out the Volt, the Leaf, and the i3 and did’t like the way the interior looked in any of them. People have all kinds of personal preferences that don’t simply reduce to a range or a 0-60 number. Audi probably has the best fit and finish among the “near luxury” cars out there. That is part of what draws a large part of Audi’s clientele.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Well, the people that track these new technologies are generally engineering types that are interested in the technology & specs. So I’m not sure why you are surprised to see people discussing the important specification metrics of the vehicles.

          Sure, some people buy a car because it has a nice shade of green. But I don’t think you’ll find much of that kind of discussion here.

          1. Dan says:

            Hmmm, neither me nor any of the other engineering types I know judge a car by the size of its battery or its 0-60 times. I would think that engineers are more multidimensional.

            Perhaps you’re thinking of 18 year old drag racers???

    3. bro1999 says:

      Or get a Ford C-Max Energi, which somehow gets more EV miles out of a smaller battery…and has tons more passenger space than the e-tron.

      This would have been a good effort in…..2012. 2016? What a joke!

      1. Chris says:

        Agree with bro1999 on this. The A3 e-tron was on my list as a possible replacement for my 2012 Volt (whose lease was up this past July), but it has taken so long to get here and the range is so mediocre, I’m finding it hard to get terribly excited about it as compared to the competition. Bit if a “day late, dollar short” kind of thing now.

        1. John in AA says:

          At least they forgot to give it Quattro.

    4. AlphaEdge says:

      People in the market for Audi’s don’t consider Chevy’s. Also one’s available now, and the other is not.

  3. David Murray says:

    Even though I personally would not want the car (I’d rather have a Volt) I still hope it sells well. I think it will as long as Audi dealerships actually want to sell it.

  4. James says:

    The A3 is such a handsome ride. 40 miles of range and I’d be sold.

  5. mhamilton says:

    This is a different market than the volt and the bolt though. The luxury market may like this car but I agree the range needs to be higher.

  6. Ed says:

    Now we’ll have a fancy PiP taking up level 2 charging stations. Great.

  7. Daniel says:

    While the Volt “is” an outstanding vehicle at what it does best ( I own one ) What it does NOT do is provide ample interior space. I’m not a fan of the “compact” form factor and am saving $$$ for the first offering ( Sans a Model S or X ) that offers a REAL car experience in a truly family friendly form factor. I would have LOVED to see the new Malibu have plug-in capability with a larger battery pack

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Neither will the A3 e-Tron.

  8. tom911 says:

    No HOV sticker in CA, three year old design. I expect more from Audi – besides the cheating I mean.

    1. bro1999 says:

      I guess this is the best Audi can do when it can’t cheat. Pretty sad effort, though it is another vehicle with a plug, I guess.

      1. Forever green says:

        Bro1999,+1

    2. Benjamin says:

      Dude! It’s eligible for Green Sticker HOV (meets emissions and warranty) and it gets the $1,500 CA rebate and Audi also folds in the $4,168 federal tax rebate in their leases! Unfortunately, CA ran out of green stickers. So unless CA regulators increase the numbers of green stickers any PHEV you buy now will NOT have a green sticker. Hello. Goodbye.

  9. MTN Ranger says:

    I just checked the EPA website and was surprised that the A3 Etron is smaller than the Volt (93cf vs 94cf passenger space and 14cf vs 19cf cargo space.

    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=36863&id=37129

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      Oops, I meant 89cf vs 90cf for passenger space.

    2. That calculator also shows a significant fuel cost savings for the Volt – $1,500 over 5 years.

    3. Brian says:

      Any idea how “cargo space” is actually calculated? They claim 19 cu.ft, but elsewhere I’ve seen as low as 10 quoted. Compared to my old Insight – which is only rated at 16 cu.ft – the Volt seems like it has a smaller trunk, not a larger one.

      Just curious.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        It would actually be nice if trunk space also included square feet of floor space. It’s not just about volume.

      2. Dan says:

        It’s nearly identical to the e-Golf. You can google blueprints and find them for nearly all the models. I believe the cargo area is 830mm depth x 1000mm width.

        1. Loaddown says:

          I believe you are referring to the Golf GTE plugin. The e-Golf is a straight ev like the Leaf, etc.

          1. Dan says:

            The chassis is identical

      3. tom911 says:

        Unfortunately it’s not a simple thing…

        https://www.cars.com/articles/2014/03/why-cargo-specs-can-stretch-the-truth/

        The Tower of Babel
        Why is it so hard to compare cargo space? It’s because different automakers follow different cargo space accounting methods. The methodology in question, called SAE J1100 Motor Vehicle Dimensions, is rooted in SAE drafting standards from 1963. A formal version was approved in 1973 with comprehensive revision in 1975. Eight subsequent versions came between 1984 and 2009, explained Neil Mitchell, a senior design engineer at GM. But there’s little consistency as to which version automakers use.

        Read more at https://www.cars.com/articles/2014/03/why-cargo-specs-can-stretch-the-truth/#Cb45y4JSQtvXsyzS.99

        1. Brian says:

          Ugh, what a mess. This is why I bring a few large / known objects with me to a test drive, including a cooler and the largest suitcase I own. That way I can reference it for myself and decide if it’s liveable.

  10. Speculawyer says:

    Wow . . . the VW auto group’s electrification attempts have been pretty sad.

    The Polo is so small that they don’t bother bringing it to the USA. The eGolf is basically a clone of the LEAF but 5 years later. The A3 is kinda like the Volt except half the electric range and costs more.

    I guess this is what the Germans deserve for ignoring plug-ins for so long.

  11. Benjamin says:

    I picked up my car last Friday, 1/8/16. While I do wish it has more AER, I’ve been consistently getting 17-20 miles of real EV miles here in CA winter. I expect this to improve during the warmer months. It drives very similar to the 2006 A3 Sportback wagon that I traded in.

    Audi’s e-tron connect services is currently not working and those without the Technology Package (MMI Plus) cannot do any scheduled climate control or scheduled charging time.

    The car is eligible for CA Green Sticker HOV, $1,500 CA rebate and $4,168 federal tax credit (Audi includes this as capital cost reduction in their leases).

    1. Brian says:

      Congrats on the new car! It’s too bad that some of the tech features don’t work out of the gates. I’ve heard that many of the eGolf’s features didn’t work right away either, but VW eventually sorted through the issues. Hang in there, Audi will get it right!

      I hope you stick around this site and share your experiences with this car. I know the numbers don’t impress, but the overall package is nothing to scoff at. I’m glad to hear that it feels and drives like a proper Audi. Hopefully they can get a good number of converts!

    2. tom911 says:

      How is it eligible for a Green sticker? Do you have specifics?

      The ARB site isn’t correct or not updated??

      http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm

      Is it is it’s too bad al the stickers are gone. I really wanted to like this car and it drove very well when I tested it at the Audi event but the lack of HOV access, no awd and delay kinda turned me off.

      IMPORTANT NOTICE: The 85,000 statutory Green Clean Air Vehicle Decal limit has been reached. The DMV will continue to accept applications without payment to establish a queue for requesters should an additional amount of decals be authorized. There is no guarantee that additional decals will be authorized in the coming months. Those individuals in the queue will be notified to submit payment if additional decals are approved. Updates will be provided here as more information becomes available.

    3. tom911 says:

      BTW – care to share your lease #’s if you leased. What gas mileage are you seeing? Can you recharge the battery 100% using the ICE?

  12. Mister G says:

    It’s a gas guzzler not interested

  13. Hangtime10 says:

    @Benjamin I’ve been comparing ICE and Plug-in hybrids. The A3 etron is high on my list for what I need of a daily driver.
    Here in Toronto, the A3 etron can get a $6k gov rebate (only plug-ins and full EV’s are eligible) and green sticker (plates here).
    I’d love to hear about your experiences with the car.